Whitewashing Hillary Clinton
Forget the irrationality of discussing 2016 in 2013. That horse has left the barn. Whether it is, as many believe, a media driven story, or as others — including myself — believe a Clinton driven story, talk about Hillary and 2016 has dominated political coverage since January. And I’ll say now what I’ve said all along, it is a huge mistake.
Suddenly, with the newest faux scandal, “The Wiretapping of America,” that mistake has come around and bit Hillary on the ass. There are two gestating bills: first, the 2001 Patriot Act, fountain head of Governmental domestic spying and second is the 2005 reauthorization of the Patriot Act. Hillary Clinton voted for both. Whoops.
Let me say this right off the bat, in 2008, Hillary Clinton either in the midst of a Presidential campaign or directly after one, voted no on the FISA Amendment Acts that brought us PRISM. That is good news for her, and expect to hear her speaking softly about that no vote in the future. Softly because from a messaging standpoint she doesn’t want to brag about blocking PRISM and then open herself up to the wiretapping and massive executive power expansion of the Patriot Act I and II.
This is why Clinton is in so much trouble. She lost in 2008 for a number of reasons, but one of them was because she faced off against a popular, charismatic guy who hadn’t had to take any hard votes yet. Well, 2016 is going to be the same thing, with a host of Democratic Governors running against Clinton and not one of them will have voted to violate the privacy and constitutional protect rights of 320 million people. Imagine Martin O’Malley, Deval Patrick, Andrew Cumo, and Howard Dean running against Hillary with this:
…the character of a President is revealed through adversity. In the tough decisions she or he is forced to make. For all of us, for each and every one of us running, these moments demonstrate to the world who we are both as individuals and as a country. When faced with a tough vote on expanding Government power, in an insane and brutal way, Hillary Clinton failed that test. Not once, with the Patriot Act, not twice with the invasion of Iraq, but three times with the reauthorization of the patriot act. Oh, I’m sure she has excuses; I bet she’ll try and explain, but the effective range of an excuse is zero meters. Let’s be clear, just like her catastrophic vote to invade Iraq, Hillary Clinton made a political calculation and people like you and me paid for it. Enough is enough.
And that is off the top of my head with no focus group, no polling, and no messaging team. A team could roll out a series of attacks just like this and it would be devastating for Clinton in a Democratic primary.
This means trouble for Clinton. And I mean, real, easily understood, hardening meme, wrong side of history, trouble. If she makes it through the primary she’ll be fine in the general election because these attacks don’t work for the GOP. The GOP loves these programs.
If she does make it through the primary, I think she wins by ten points. If she makes it through the primary … and as of today, I’m not sure she can. Are you? There is a reason Barack Obama is the only US Senator to be elected to the White House since Kennedy. Tough votes don’t go away.